Following the money: how locals are donating to the 2020 presidential campaigns

How red or blue is your zip code? Who’s making contributions, and how much? Here’s a close-up look at how locals are donating to Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Joseph Biden for the 2020 presidential election.

21 Aug 2020 | 04:51

By: Molly Colgan, Jalen Crosby and Adam Emmerich.
Graphics by: Christina Scotti and Adam Emmerich.

How red or blue is your zip code? Who’s making contributions, and how much? Here’s a close-up look at how locals are donating to Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Joseph Biden for the 2020 presidential election.

Despite all of the uncertainties that come with 2020 Americans are still finding the cash to donate to their preferred presidential candidate.To take a look at how people are donating during this particularly unique year and election, the Straus News team took a closer look at how people in our towns are making contributions, big and small: we found that one family contributed more than $55,000 for their candidate or political action committee, others donated a few dollars a day.In the accompanying map, you’ll find areas covered by Straus News’ weekly newspapers: multiple towns in Orange County N.J., Sussex County N.J, Passaic County N.J., and Milford, Pa. The red and blue zip codes on the map are those that we have analyzed data for. The graph provides specific information about contributions by local zip codes.The donations outlined in these graphics cover the time frame from April 1, 2020, through July 31, 2020.

Here are some bits of information we found while sorting through the individual contributions:

• More donors doesn’t mean more money. In Sparta, N.J., Sussex County’s most affluent zip code, more people donated to Joseph Biden (149) than Donald Trump (107). But Trump supporters still raised more cash at $14,091 vs. Biden’s $10,895. Biden donors also outnumbered Trump’s, but didn’t raise as much money in Highland Lakes N.J., Stanhope N.J., West Milford N.J., Hewitt, N.J. Warwick N.Y., Pine Island N.Y, Florida N.Y., Tuxedo N.Y., Harriman N.Y., and Highland Mills N.Y.

• The only analyzed zip code where the opposite happened, with Biden donors outraising Trump with fewer individuals, is Ogdensburg, N.J. The numbers are close: $841 for Biden raised by eight individuals and $651 for Trump from 12 individuals.

• Tuxedo Park, N.Y., another particularly high-income area, raised more cash than any other zip code analyzed for this story: $59,243 for the Trump campaign and $2,047 for Biden.The $59,243 for Trump came from just 16 contributors and more than $55,000 of that total was contributed by two individuals living in the same household on W. Lake Road.

• Small $1 and $2 donations aren’t unique to candidates such as Bernie Sanders, who touted a grassroots campaign of small donations by many. One Monroe, N.Y., resident donated to the Trump campaign 66 times between April and July, donating anywhere from 30 cents to ten dollars, with an average donation amount of $2.02.

What about Tuxedo? The Trump contribution numbers for Tuxedo were so high that the graphic spilled off the page. In Tuxedo (10987), 28 people contributed $2,048 to Biden, and 16 contributed $59,243 to Trump. Over $55,000 of Tuxedo’s total contributions to Trump came from a single household.
Campaign Donation Data Methodology: Straus News analyzed contributions from local zip codes to the presidential campaigns. These numbers represent donations reported to the Federal Election Commission made between April 1, 2020, and July 31, 2020.
Data shows donations to Donald J. Trump for President, Trump Make America Great Again Committee, Trump Victory, WINRED, Biden for President, Biden Victory Fund, Biden Action Fund and ACTBLUE.
Donations to other campaigns or to the Democratic National Committee or the Republican National Committee were excluded. Senator Bernie Sanders ended his campaign April 8, 2020. For the “individuals count” exact matches of names were combined to count as one donor.